Tēnā koutou katoa 
It has certainly been a challenging few months for New Zealand with an international pandemic resulting in a state of national emergency. With the country in lockdown, our MITO team seamlessly transitioned to working from home providing the high level of service and care that characterises this impressive team!
The Government’s Budget 2020 announcements signal how crucial vocational education is to the rebuilding of New Zealand’s economy. This includes a $1.6 billion support package over four years for trades training aimed at retaining apprentices and learners and incentivising further enrolments.

The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund, provides free training fees for all apprenticeships and selected traineeship programmes from 1 July 2020 through until 31 December 2022. In addition, from August 2020 to April 2022, an Apprenticeship Boost subsidy is available to employers of up to $16,000 for apprentices during their first and second year of study. This includes apprentices already enrolled with MITO. Please read on for further information.

MITO has also developed a support scheme for any displaced learners as a result of COVID-19 to ensure that their training continues. This will include assisting with job brokering and secondment opportunities. Employers are encouraged to contact their MITO Industry Training Advisor prior to releasing a learner so that our support can be mobilised immediately. Please read on for further information and I do urge you to contact us with any queries. We are here for you!  
The establishment of the six Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) has been fast-tracked, through funding from Budget 2020, to be stood up by mid-October 2020. The Government has stated that fast-tracking all six WDCs will help with the response to COVID-19 ensuring that their influence in the vocational education and training system will become more immediate.

The six interim Establishment Boards (iEBs) have now been formed. The iEBs will develop the Order in Council establishing the future governance arrangements and determining the process for appointing the WDC Board. I have been appointed to the Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics iEB, which includes industry consultation – so guaranteed that you will be hearing more from me in that regard over the next few months. The formation of each WDC is mandated to occur by 30 June 2021.  
The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund, announced as part of the Budget 2020, is designed to make it easier for people to train in industries where demand is expected to grow as the country recovers from COVID-19. The Fund will pay for the training fees of all learners that enrol in a MITO apprenticeship programme, and selected traineeship programmes, from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022.  
The government has announced an additional apprenticeship support scheme as part of Budget 2020 that will provide businesses with up to $16,000 to cover the cost of each apprentice in the first two years of their training. Apprenticeship Boost will run for 20 months from August 2020 until April 2022. Employers will be eligible for funding of up to $12,000 per full year of training for each first-year apprentice, and up to $6,000 for each second-year apprentice. This includes apprentices currently enrolled in the system.    
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND OUR 2019 ANNUAL REPORT MITO’s 27th Annual General Meeting was held on 16 June 2020, where the joint Board Chair and Chief Executive’s Report was adopted by our Members. The Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2019 were also approved and adopted.   We invite you to read our 2019 Annual Report, which summarises our achievements over the last financial year.
Looking for new staff?  Be sure to stop by MITO’s Job Hub on our website! This free service provides registered employers with access to profiles of jobseekers actively looking for work in your industry and region. You can contact them directly and invite them in for an interview. MITO also advertises job vacancies – and if it’s an entry-level role, we will promote it via our social media channels.   
I wish you all the very best. Yours sincerely
Andrew Clearwater
MITO Board Chair